Thursday, 23 January 2014

The church of St Mary the Virgin, Blundeston

There has been a church in Blundeston village since the 7th century….a lovely  church in a charming village.
I’ve paid a few visits here as the church has such a welcoming feel to it, and although set on the roadside, it has fields surrounding it.
…Blundeston village is the one which Charles Dickens portrayed in the opening chapters of his book  ‘David Copperfield’.

                                                              Nothing remains of this original church apart from the flint tower which was built in the year 988. A small church was built and adjoined to the tower about a century later….Of this church there is only the font and the Northern doorway which remain.

A later church was erected in it’s place in the 14th century and it’s nave had fine woodwork and tracery added to it a hundred years later.

The font is Norman and originally square but was altered in the 15th century to make it the preferred octagonal shape of that time.

Hardly any complete original 14th century pews exist, but when the church was restored in the 1850s new oak pews were made and sympathetically carved poppy heads fitted to them.

The lectern is in beautifully carved oak

The ceiling is Victorian and of timber barrel-design, which rests on 14th century corbel heads  of kings and queens, thought to be those of Henry 11, Queen Matilda and King Edmund of East Anglia and his Queen.
The chancel was rebuilt in 1851, as was the choir stalls….In the South wall of the chancel there is a 15th century piscina for rinsing the holy vessels
The High Altar is less than 100years old, dating from 1928,but it stands on the base of the original C14 Altar. It has golden angels on the riddel posts.
The oak communion table was constructed in 1613

The lower rood screen is from the late C15 and has paintings of the Angels of Passion upon it

The beautifully carved octagonal pulpit standing in front of the rood screen dates from 1886

The customary  holy water stoup stands by the porch door, and the coat of arms above the door is that of Charles 11.
The tower arch at the West end of the church although Norman is Saxon in style and is the oldest part of the church, - there is a squint hole in the wall alongside this arch.

Grotesque near base of inside wall near porch door.

These a just a few of the many interesting things in this church -  it's a delightful place for contemplation.

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